Things start early on Parks Road,at the Keble College at Oxford. This year the Digital Humanities Summer School at Oxford (@dhoxss) comes back to a presencial, physical edition, after two years of online set ups. Yet still there is an online version for the ones that couldn't make it to the ancient university city. Of course, the opening session gives us a review of the potential held by AI to the field of music and its opportunities to the field of research. After a coffee break, we get to review of the methods used by digital humanities and examples of where it has been used, such as crowdsourcing, databases, digitalization, etc. Do you need to learn python to be a. digital humanist? Megan Gooch (@agneatha) thinks no. She is one of the leading voices of the event and she is opening the sessions.
What is DDHH?. With this question the event starts, and not without reason. The organiser's aim is to stress that this is more an approach than a discipline per se, and that at the current pace of developments, every field of humanities will be/would be/should be digital. Thus is a mean to an end and not a goal itself. Of course there are nuances in the practicalities of every faculty, where it might need to be emphasized the use of digital technologies. The discipline in fact, had something akin to an exixtenital crisis some years ago. So as definitions go, this is an open and dynamkc field. This panorama will be evident some days later, when a panel discudsed what would be the skills digital humanists would have in the future. Aong the suggestions of what should be taught in the next editions, suggestion about learning Python code, visualization tools, communicational approaches, that is different directipns that show a multiformed field that want to build bridges.
But back to the opening talk. She lists the big issues out there: storage, preservation, access and findability, all coming in package with rampant evolution of technologies available to do the research work, from obsolete formats every five years to access, ethics (remember the team making "sing" an Egyptian mummy?the need for context for the use of technology in digital humanities, not just use it for the sake of novelty. ) and copyright (ethics and intellectual property clash at the very notion of property) as well as training (acquiring skills is the reason we are here afterall). How do you train a digital humanist? The field is so vast and multiform that can feel vague; because of the multidisciplinary, humanities are about working with other people.
Then David De Roure (@dder) shows us the zooniverse, a crow-sourced, people-powered research effort made by volunteers collaborating in science projects, successful example of engagement. The people classifying the galaxies are Abel to talk to each other and they are not isolated interventions, polishing the added knowledge. Think of wikipedia fro galaxies, with a more rigorous scientific approach. Somebody asks about NFTs. We got to a break and waith fot hte next talk, about the "pandemic turn". An academic sitting in a crossroads of science and sociology, David is a leading voice orchestrating the multiple talents congregated here.